Research tools - laptops and handhelds for mobile usability testing

isham research

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Handheld-friendly web pages

Phil Payne is a Google Bionic Poster and Top Contributor based in Sheffield, UK. The opinions here are not Google's

This site - and others managed by isham research Web Services - is being converted to a mobile friendly format. If you have a mobile, PDA, Blackberry, etc., with a web link and a browser - most mobile phones sold since 2002 or so - you can bookmark one of these pages and read it at will on your mobile phone. This being done in descending order of use - so the odds are that most pages you use have already been done.

There are a few "technology demonstrator" pages - simple ones so the techniques can be seen without difficulty. See for a simple menu tree tested down to 132x176 pixels and also usable on a normal display. Overall the goal is to provide just one set of pages that can be served to normal and reduced dimension displays.

Crucially, advances in handheld ability are making subsetting such as W3C Mobile Web Best Practices rapidly obsolete. Most handhelds have virtually no memory restrictions and 3G/HSDPA is almost as fast as a landline connection.

The site has been accessed by an iPhone but this will NOT be fully supported until Apple sorts the browser out.

Google has now started using a SAMSUNG-SGH-E250 user-agent string when crawling mobile sites. This phone has an even smaller display than the Siemens S65.

For the technical:

Be aware that Google sometimes transcodes pages before sending them to handhelds.

isham research's proprietary Google sitemap generator has been adapted to generate mobile sitemaps in parallel with normal sitemaps. Note that when a single page appears in multiple sitemaps Google will count it multiple times, leading to a total indexed page count higher than the number of pages on the site.

Contact by email or use mobile/SMS 07833 654800